A Shitshow in Syria
While America is distracted by the barrage of questionable accusations of sexual misconduct by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, our military leaders are working to prolong the existence of the Islamic State (ISIS), therefore extending the morass of spiraling conflicts in Iraq and Syria.
The borders of ISIS’ caliphate are certainly shrinking but this is not bringing about any kind of clarity to Iraq or Syria. In fact, if current trends continue and America increases its involvement in Syria, more wars are likely to begin before any semblance of calm returns to the desert sands of the Middle East.
Liz Sly of The Washington Post wrote in early September of the ten new wars that could be started as a result of the war being fought against ISIS:
- U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish forces and Turkish-backed Arab forces
- Turkey and the Syrian Kurds
- Syrian Kurds and the Syrian government
- The United States and Syria
- Turkey and Syria
- Iraqi Kurds and the Iraqi government
- Iraqi Kurds and Shiite militias
- Kurds against Kurds
- Sunni Arabs against Shiites and/or Kurds
- The remnants of the Islamic State against everyone
Ready for War With Russia?
With all of these potential wars becoming closer to reality, one would think the U.S. would tread carefully during these explosive times. But that has not been the case. Just this past week, a recent Southfront report revealed how the U.S. and Saudi Arabia agreed to allow 9,000 ISIS fighters to flee the northern Iraqi city of Mosul before it is attacked from all sides. These same jihadists will be redeployed to fight Assad’s government forces in Syria, backed by Russian soldiers, airplanes, and ships.
President Obama has apparently signed off on the operation to take back Mosul, a plan delayed for some time, though due to finally commence later this month. But why are we allowing these terrorists to flee back into the battlefield in cities and towns from Mosul to Damascus? America’s involvement in this chaotic region has been more than puzzling for any person following the 5 year-plus long Syrian civil war and it has only gotten more confusing over the past few weeks as Russia ratchets up for war. What is in our national interest?
The United States has been doing a poor job in articulating our involvement in Syria. The U.S. has been making moral argument about Assad’s war crimes while other parties are “very much looking at their bottom line,” as Enea Gjoza wrote in The National Interest recently. Gjoza went on to state that “U.S. diplomats have failed to artiulate the key interests we are pursuing in Syria,” therefore confusing what a “realistic negotiated outcome might look like.” The U.S., as other nations have been doing, must pursue and act on its best interests, not simply on moral outrage.
Both U.S. and Turkish boots are now on the ground in northern Syria. Recently, U.S. planes have targeted Syrian soldiers and there are plans in the works to double down on this damaging strategy. Former CIA director Mike Morell recently called for the secret targeting of Russian soldiers in Syria. This dangerous decision would be begging for direct war with Russia and would likely be Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s course of action. She has hinted as much after calling for the installation of a “no-fly zone” over Syria in the most recent debate, a move that would involve the destruction of both Syrian anti-aircraft and many other complex tasks.
From Proxy War to Struggle for Power on the World’s Stage
Hillary Clinton would likely start World War III against the one other nation on earth that can compete with us on a nuclear weapons basis. The U.S. has 7,100 nuclear warheads while Russia has 7,300. Clinton has vowed to bomb Iran and has also accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of being behind all the damaging WikiLeaks emails coming out over the past week from the account of campaign chair, John Podesta. No credible evidence has been brought forward to back up this claim by Clinton’s team.
Putin is taking the threat of nuclear war very seriously. With Clinton looking like our next commander in chief, Russian citizens prepared for a World War III scenario with a nationwide emergency drill. 40 million Russians prepared for the possibility of nuclear warheads raining down on them. Furthermore, President Putin “ordered” ranking Russian officials living abroad to return home, along with their families, implying an anticipation of armed conflict. Today, we are edging dangerously close to an escalating proxy war with Russia that could result in nuclear war.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad summed up U.S. foreign policy perfectly, saying, “Today the United States is waging wars with the only goal to cement its project of total control by launching an attack on everyone who opposes its dominance.” The U.S. neoconservative national security state refuses to accept a world in which Russia or China is an equal with America. Despite Assad being the one lawful leader in that country, the U.S. is doing everything it can to depose him.
But Russia has other plans.
Thomas Graham and Matthew Rojansky recently wrote a piece in Foreign Policy explaining why “the Syrian crisis demands urgent attention” in the context of the puzzling Russia-U.S. relationship. They write of the new reality that the U.S. faces with “no better option than to keep trying to work with Russia.” This much is obvious, yet, our military leaders continue to pursue a course that puts the U.S. in direct conflict with. This suggests something sinister in America’s foreign policy toward Syria. U.S. actions in the region suggest everything revolves around one only thing: power.
Can America’s Position on Syria be Better Clarified?
Moscow has the commitment to maintain its military deployment in the region for an extended period of time. Why should we insert ourselves into this unwinnable conflict if it is only going to bring us closer to war with Russia? Is it perhaps to distract from the damaging information we continue to learn about from WikiLeaks?
Inserting American might into Syria would also put us in opposition to the almost nuclear armed Iran, another country with an increasing troop presence within Assad’s borders. Orient News released estimates that the number could be as high as 60,000, including Hezbollah fighters from Lebanon.
As the U.S. looks to counter Russian “aggression,” the former Soviet state has moved to increase its military presence at strategic points. Reports have surfaced that Russia is in talks with Egypt to lease military facilities, including an air base near the Mediterranean. This after just last week, the Russians delivered an S-300 anti-aircraft missile system to its base in Tartus, on the Mediterranean coast of Syria. This can only be in preparation for shooting down U.S. or U.S.-backed planes.
And yet, the Clinton-supporting American media is too busy not covering what is going on in Syria, Libya, or the damning information in the recent WikiLeaks emails. Instead, they are swamped with the seemingly false accusations of sexual impropriety by Donald Trump, a man who has promised to shake up the existing media hierarchy and political status quo in America. The media gives Clinton and other neoconservatives a free pass while they advocate for doomsday scenarios such as a no-fly zone or the destruction of the Syrian air force, a move that would carry far too large a risk of outright military confrontation with Russia.
Still, it seems the U.S. State Department is gearing up for war with the former Communist empire. On October 3rd, the U.S. announced it suspended bilateral relations with Russia regarding Syria. Then, two days later, a closed-door War Cabinet meeting that included senior officials from the Pentagon, CIA, Joint Chiefs of Staff, State Department and top national security advisors of the White House was held. On the agenda was a proposal to directly attack Syrian government forces and military facilities.
Already, Obama’s flailing campaign in Syria has tallied over 8,300 airstrikes, according to U.S. Department of Defense numbers. His attempts to dislodge ISIS from Iraq have failed just as spectacularly. The overall cost for our bombings of Iraq and Syria? $9.3 billion. Over the past two years, $12.3 million a day has been spent on destroying towns and villages disguised as “fighting terrorism,” something Assad and Putin are actually doing. Financed by taxpayers, our money is being spent without our permission. All the while, the U.S. and its NATO allies have been pouring in tens of thousands of weapons into the region since the start of the civil war.
As Professor Michel Chossudovsky pointed out in Global Research: “Based on the examination of a single December 2015 Pentagon sponsored shipment of more than 990 tons, one can reasonably conclude that the amounts of light weapons in the hands of ‘opposition’ rebels inside Syria is substantial and exceedingly large.” No wonder this conflict has been dragging on for over five years now.
Instead of focusing its efforts on ISIS and other terrorist groups, the U.S. coalition is now targeting Syrian troops. The U.S. apparently targeted Syrian troops as recently as September of this year in an attack which, according to Assad himself, lasted for over an hour. At least 80 soldiers were killed while another 100 were injured. Chossudovsky reveals why we did so: “An ISIS advance followed almost immediately.”
A Clinton Catastrophe Brought About by an Acquiescent Mainstream Media
The U.S. cannot properly intervene in Syria without dealing with Russia somehow first. While Russia has been formally asked to Syria by President Assad, the U.S. continues to operate without any legal authority, as we tend to do. President Obama declares that international law must be respected and followed while indiscriminately bombing a country that poses little to no threat to America itself.
Reuters reported that this past Friday would be the day for President Barack Obama and his top foreign policy advisers to decide whether or not Syrian and Russian aircraft should be targeted.
This tactic was warned to be the first step toward a “world war” scenario with Russia. General Joseph Dunford stated clearly that this may lead to war. Furthermore, he said one danger of such an action is that Russian and Syrian forces are often co-mingled, "raising the possibility of a direct confrontation with Russia that Obama has been at pains to avoid."
What could possibly go wrong?
Painting Russia and Putin as the boogeyman to be feared certainly has been the go-to tactic for the liberal-littered media overwhelmingly supportive of the Hillary Clinton. Newsweek recently accused Donald Trump of being a puppet who recites “Putin propaganda.” Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept, far from a Trump supporter, came to the Republican’s defense.
"It’s very much this kind of hysterical, McCarthyite tactic that anybody you dislike in politics, anyone you regard as your domestic adversary, should just be accused of being a tool of the Kremlin,” Greenwald said in an interview to Sputnik. “And on top of which, they’re depicting Moscow and Russia as this kind of grave, almost existential threat to the United States." The Soviet Union might’ve been an existential threat to the U.S., but Putin’s Russia?
He would continue, “[Election news] has the effect of blinding the citizenry to pretty much everything else that’s taking place, including what the US government, under the current president, continues to do. For example, just last week, there was this hideous, deliberate strike by Saudi Arabia, using US weapons, on a funeral in Yemen that killed 140 people and wounded 550 more," Greenwald said. We can’t hear about that though. That would get in the way of the wall-to-wall coverage of Trump’s alleged improprieties.
Like the WikiLeaks emails and anything else remotely damaging to Secretary Clinton, "It got almost no attention," Greenwald added. "I think one of the things that has happened is that so many reporters, especially now, are so devoted to one of the candidates, particularly Hillary Clinton, that they’re not actually interested in any news stories that they perceive don’t directly help her to win."
Syria = Step One for Worldwide Conflict
While the media glosses over significant stories such as the bombshells from the latest leaked emails or American involvement overseas, one of our NATO allies is getting increasingly assertive in the Middle East. Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus warned this past week that the Syrian proxy war between the U.S. and Russia could lead to a worldwide conflict.
“If the proxy war continues, after this, let me be clear, America and Russia will come to a point of war,” the Deputy Prime Minister stated.
Going one step further, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s hawkish stance on Middle Eastern affairs was also confirmed this week when he told the Iraqi president to “know his place.” This disregard for its neighbor came in response to Iraq’s stance that they do not want Turkish assistance in their upcoming offensives, including the crucial retaking of Mosul from ISIS. In fact, Iraq actually requested that Turkish troops leave Iraq all-together some time ago, but Turkey has not listened, further indicating Turkey’s plans to expand its regional influence, likely to counter Iran’s direct and indirect incursions into Syria.
Still, Turkey, like the United States, will go where it pleases. Including Yemen.
In an amazing display of media blackout, the United States went to war and no one noticed. Like Obama and Clinton’s drive-by war in Libya, this past week, a US navy destroyer fired a barrage of cruise missiles at three radar sites controlled by the Houthi rebels in Yemen but no one in the media seemed to care to report on it. This attack was the first time the U.S. has fought the rebels directly in Yemen’s escalating civil war.
Sure, we’ve been launching drone strikes on al-Qaida targets in Yemen for years, but this particular escalation on the part of the U.S. aims to drag us into yet another conflict that we think we can solve from thousands of miles away. It is already U.S. putting ships in the Red Sea in danger. Clinton would undoubtedly extend and possibly expand this ramped up strategy in another war torn country.
While we have been involved in Yemen for years, “this particular military engagement has the potential to drag the US straight into a protracted and escalating conflict,” Moustafa Bayoumi wrote in The Guardian recently. He concludes that “America has an uncanny ability to enter protracted and escalating military conflicts.”
And yet, we have heard absolutely nothing about our presidential candidates’ plans or outlook on Yemen or Syria. Instead, the important issues garner zero attention while the media continues to focus on false accusations of sexual misconduct.
History is not inevitable. Nothing is set in stone. Our fortunes are decided by everyday people making crucial choices. We all have a choice this November. Will it be World War III? Or will it be we the people?